Fatal swerve: one of the 7 passengers in the van dies; driver arrested

JOLIETTE, Que. — The driver of a van is due to appear by videoconference Sunday at the Joliette courthouse, the day after a road trip that cost the life of one of his passengers.

No less than eight people were in the vehicle when the swerve occurred Saturday morning, around 11 a.m., on Manawan Road, near Saint-Michel-des-Saints, in the Lanaudière region.

A 17-year-old boy was seriously injured. A medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene to transport him to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Other passengers were also injured, but their lives are not threatened.

“Several people were not seated in a safe manner, as provided for by the Highway Safety Code, in the vehicle,” said agent Nicolas Scholtus, spokesman for the Sûreté du Québec, on Saturday.

As for the driver, in his twenties, the latter was also transported to a hospital center where a blood sample was requested by the authorities.

Following the event, the Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lafrenière, said on Twitter that he had contacted Chief Paul-Émile Ottawa “to offer him our full support in the face of this tragedy”.

“Condolences and courage to the family and to the entire community of Manawan,” he added in a tweet.

The leader of the Attikamek community of Manawan shared on his Facebook page that he had « witnessed horrific and heartbreaking scenes ».

“I was the first on the scene, I was just passing by, when I saw a group of young people in distress, bloodied, injured and in shock,” wrote Mr. Ottawa.

The driver is being held pending court appearance. He could face charges of impaired driving causing death, obstructing police work and uttering threats.

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